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Fig and Flatbread Thursday

Tomorrow is October. I’ve been patient. I survived a long, hot summer and now I’m ready for my reward – fall. But on this last day of September what I actually got was torrential rains, high humidity and a whole lot of frustration. So I’m doing what any decent cook would do in making tonight’s meal – cutting corners.

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting one of my new favorite cities (Chicago) with one of my oldest and dearest friends (Madelene).  We endured shopping on the Magnificent Mile, a hilarious stop at Second City and some great tapas in Lincoln Park. I love tapas – mostly I like to eat a lot of little things with different flavors in one sitting. Kind of like in the movie Mermaids where Cher only makes her kids a selection of appetizers for dinner every night. But luckily there was no spray cheese or marshmallow fluff in sight in Lincoln Park. These small plates were amazing. Short ribs with mashed potatoes, slivers of salmon with chive creme fraiche, spicy chicken empanadas, and endives bursting with blue cheese and figs. Oh how I love my figs. When I was a kid, my grandmother’s neighbor had a fig tree. For fifteen years I refused to let one of those figs touch my lips. What a fool I was.

For tonight, I decided I wanted simple and fun. We have big plans in our household. Wait for it – 30 Rock, the Office and maybe we will have time for an episode Thirtysomething on DVD. Yup, never a dull moment in this house.

So I decided on flatbreads and figs – tapas style. Flatbreads are quick solution to a weeknight meal or a weekend appetizer or snack. I like a lot of flavor and this particular recipe combines sweet, tangy and peppery all in one. You can put anything on your flatbread – basil and tomato, BBQ chicken, mediterranean style or even thai shrimp! Anything goes when it comes to flatbreads.

If, unlike me, you are feeling adventurous on a weeknight and want to make your own flatbread dough, click here for the recipe.

Fig, Goat Cheese & Arugula Flatbread

  • 8 fresh figs
  • One very large flatbread or 2-3 small flatbreads (store bought or homemade)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Honey
  • 3 oz. goat cheese
  • 3 oz. mozzarella
  • Arugula
  • Salt and pepper

Slice figs into meaty pieces.  Next crumble the goat cheese and slice your mozzarella. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Drizzle olive oil on the flatbreads. Spread figs and both cheeses (the tangy) over the flatbread and sprinkle some dollops of honey over the figs (the sweet). Add a dash more olive oil, a few specks of salt and ground pepper and, if you like, a little bit of balsamic vinegar. Bake flatbreads for about 15 minutes or until nice and bubbly or crispy. Before serving add a couple of handfuls of argula (the peppery) over the flatbread. If you are a meat eater, prosciutto is a wonderful, salty complement to this dish.

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